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Primary School In Wales Gets Hands-On To Encourage Wellbeing And Academic Success

  • Primary School In Wales Gets Hands-On To Encourage Wellbeing And Academic Success

All Saints Church in Wales Primary School in Barry, has over 240 pupils ranging from early years to Year 6. As a Lead Practitioner School for Wellbeing and rated as one of the top five per cent of schools in Wales, it strives to create a happy and stimulating environment that delivers the highest standard of education for its pupils.

As part of this provision, the school uses several LEGO Education products including StoryStarter, WeDo 2.0, MoreToMaths and BuildToExpress to support pupils’ learning and wellbeing. Here, Aled Williams, Deputy Head Teacher at All Saints, explains more about how the school uses the resources…

At All Saints, the children and their welfare are at the very centre of everything we do, and they are given the support needed to achieve and progress, both academically and as individuals. This is why LEGO Education resources were a natural fit for our school and ethos, because they provide a plethora of opportunities for children to express themselves and learn using an exciting hands-on approach.

Kinaesthetic learning

Learning is not done on your own, and it shouldn’t be done in isolation or in silence. Working together, collaborating and learning autonomously should be part-and-parcel of education, as these are key life skills. Through the use of various resources, we help facilitate this, as most of the challenges or tasks require collaboration and discussion.

We use lots of LEGO Education resources; in fact, we have a LEGO Lounge and a LEGO Club at the school, and all our classrooms have sets of LEGO in them. The idea behind this is to help the children work alongside one another, express their thoughts or feelings, and develop key skills. It enhances and complements the learning in the classroom, for example, when we learnt about Roman History, we then asked the children to build various Roman artefacts out of LEGO. 

As well as using the LEGO in a traditional sense, we also use it to aid social situations; for example, we use BuildToExpress to mediate disagreements that might happen in the playground.  With emotions often running high, sometimes the children aren’t ready to discuss their actions so we’ll ask them to build what happened in the playground and what upset them. Then, they can explain their models, discussing what caused the upset and how it can be resolved. It helps them recognise and understand the other person’s feelings or perspective, especially as emotions can be an abstract concept.

We also use WeDo 2.0 to introduce our children to coding. The set is aligned to the curriculum and has four initial builds and 16 projects for children to follow, including everything from a snake to a helicopter. The children find the hands-on element of WeDo 2.0 extremely useful, as they can see the real-life applications of topics such as forces and motion, and the great thing about LEGO is that you can’t really get it wrong. It encourages them to keep trying until they find a solution that works. It’s an incredibly valuable resource for teaching computing and science.

LEGO Ambassadors

To help equip our pupils with real-life skills and responsibilities, we introduced LEGO Ambassadors at All Saints.

A big part of their role is delivering training, where they are our in-house LEGO experts. They train our younger pupils to become ambassadors and also deliver courses and training for other teachers and schools that visit us to see what we’re doing and how we’re enhancing the curriculum using LEGO. It never fails to amaze me how professional and confident our children are when delivering training. Recently, for example, they delivered a presentation to over 300 people at a conference at Cardiff City Stadium; whereas I was as white as a sheet, they were totally unflappable!

Building a positive impact

LEGO has had a huge impact on our pupils’ progress and attainment. Being able to achieve across all subject areas often relies on a hands-on approach, which not only brings the classroom to life, but also engages children and helps them understand abstract concepts.

We want our children to leave us as well-rounded individuals, and the ambassador scheme is helping to achieve this. Both our teachers and parents recognise the significant impact it has had on the children, helping them to develop life skills such as independence, communication, resilience, a love of learning, and the confidence to work with others; it’s a great privilege to see them flourish.

To find out more about LEGO® Education UK, visit LEGOeducation.co.uk

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